IT'S never quiet for long in Govanhill before some terrible incident makes the headlines.

Earlier this month a Sky News investigation spoke to a 22-year-old woman, Toni Louise, who spoke about how she was reportedly abused in Glasgow from the age of 12.

She claims that, among the multiple men who paid to have sex with her, two Police Scotland officers were involved. The force has said that reports of the allegation have been received and specialist officers are investigating.

Toni Louise said she recognised the officers because they were the same men who picked her up to take her home when she was reported missing.

Her story was horribly familiar - a man who she trusted and believed was her boyfriend groomed her and sold her to other men for sex.

She described to Sky News how she stopped going to school and was sold to up to 30 men a day, including in properties around Govanhill.

READ MORE: No surprise as four found guilty of trafficking in Govanhill

Another victim who spoke to the news channel described being given juice and ice cream by a shop keeper in the Southside community as part of the early stage of the grooming process. She said her family had little money and these treats were what lured her in.

This is an extremely common tactic used by abusers. They target children and young people who they believe to be vulnerable and treat them to things they otherwise can't afford, such as food or a mobile phone or branded clothing.

Once they've built up a friendship or a rapport then they begin to ask for payment in return, sinister, appalling repayment.  

As Sky News also rightly points out, convictions rates for this type of modern slavery crime are generally low, both in Scotland and across the rest of the UK.

Police and the Crown Office say these types of crimes are difficult to prosecute but that things are becoming better as more is learned about this type of crime, how to tackle it and, crucially, how best to support victims.

In response to this awful story, though, the old, unfounded allegations about Govanhill resurfaced online.

There is a weird amount of myth making in Govanhill, largely due to the multicultural make up of the area and the fact that, over the years, it has been targeted time and again by right wing racists who want to use the community for political point scoring.

Any time there is a story linked to Govanhill of the sort described by Toni Louise, people reference some large scale police, political and media cover up of child sexual abuse in the area.

Despite there having been many published stories about sexual abuse and human trafficking gangs operating the area, and despite multiple police investigations into these terrible crimes, it's repeated as fact that the authorities claim child sexual abuse "never happens" in Govanhill. 

READ MORE: Glasgow's top social worker on child sex abuse cover up in Govanhill

It's bizarre after all this time to have to keep repeating this but here we are again.

The story that has been discounted as a myth is a very specific thing. Allegations were made that Roma parents were selling their children on the streets of Govanhill.

This allegation has been made several times over the years, as far back as 2007, and yet, despite multiple investigations over all that time, no evidence of this very specific event has been uncovered.

If you speak to certain people in the community they will say that this is a common phenomenon and that lots of people have seen it happen and yet no one reports it to the police.

You would really like to hope that anyone seeing a parent selling their child in the street would report it to the authorities.

Either people aren't seeing this happen at all or they're seeing it and turning a blind eye.

In other cases, eye witness reports have been treated by Police Scotland as begging. That is, someone has asked for money for a child and it's been wrongly assumed they were selling the child.

The problem with this, and it's been explained many times before, is that rumours of Roma parents selling their children have existed for centuries and follow communities wherever they travel to.

When Slovakian Roma people settled in Sheffield in 2013 it was not long before an English newspaper had a front page story claiming two teenagers had tried to sell a baby to a chip shop owner for £250. This was never proven but it remains part of the mythology that dogs the community.

I sit on the children's panel for the Southside of Glasgow and have done for the past 10 years. Having read dismaying social work reports time and again over that decade, I would be the last person to say that child sexual abuse doesn't happen in Glasgow, or the Southside or even Govanhill.

Of course it does as, distressingly, across Scotland the UK.

What reportedly happened to Toni Louise was horrific. What makes it all the more horrific is that this is not a one-off story. There are stories of the trafficking for sex of women and girls in areas everywhere, even in the so-called leafy suburbs.

Repeating myths and making debunked allegations doesn't help tackle any of this. It would be far more useful for people to spend their energy reporting real events to the authorities than repeating rumours about marginalised members of our community.